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Our experts answer your questions on physical therapy and other health matters

Already Answered Questions

Herniated disc

Hello,

last month my doctor found I have a herniated disc and booked me into insurance-covered rehab. Unfortunately, the waiting time is 2 months. What can I do in the meantime? Thank you.

Hello,

a lot depends on the location and magnitude of the herniation. In general, easy exercise (walking, Nordic walking) can be recommended, to maintain general fitness. I wouldn't recommend running or jogging, which strains spinal discs more than walking. Also try exercises to relax the spine, but never to the point of pain. Exercising too hard can aggravate your condition with shooting pain, pins-and-needles sensations in the limbs, etc. Avoid bending low and major rotation of the spine, which could worsen the herniation. You can find some suitable exercises on this website.

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Rehabilitation after carpal tunnel surgery

Hello,

what is the rehabilitation regimen after carpal tunnel surgery?

Hello,

the regimen is individually set by your surgeon and the physician or physical therapist in charge of your rehabilitation. Generally it consists of gradually exercising the hand and wrist back to full mobility. After the stitches are removed, the first phase is relaxing the area of the scar, mobilizing the fingers, and practicing low-power grabbing motions to reduce swelling. Once the surgeon gives clearance, the patient may begin putting weight (leaning) on the hand and exercising with light weights or a resistance band. In some cases, laser resurfacing may be used to reduce the prominence of the scar.

You can read our carpal tunnel article for more information.

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Stabbing pain under shoulder blade

Hello,

I've had stabbing pain under my right shoulder blade for a week now. It's worst with deep breaths and sneezes. Can you help?

Hello,

pain under the right shoulder blade that worsens when inhaling and sneezing may be caused by a rib blockage. I recommend visiting an experienced physical therapist or a doctor, who can examine you to identify the cause with certainty and propose treatment. Until then, feel free to try the chest pain and stretching exercise guides here on our website.

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Does running strengthen the pelvic floor?

Hello,

I suspect my pelvic floor muscles may be loose. Aside from exercising, can easy jogging help?

Thanks for answering, Jana

Hello Jana,

certainly! Like any other physical activity, jogging improves overall fitness, including of the pelvic floor. Caution is recommended for women after childbirth and in menopause, men after prostate surgery, the overweight, and those with no history of exercise activity.

It's best to start with fast walking; you can use Nordic walking poles if you like. Compared to running or jogging, this produces fewer mechanical shocks, which for the untrained can be more trouble than the running is worth.

You can read more about the pelvic floor in this physical therapy article I wrote.

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Exercises to treat carpal tunnel syndrome

Hello,

is it possible to cure carpal tunnel syndrome solely through exercise?

Hello,

assuming the condition is in its early stages and the primary cause of wrist overloading is removed, a suitable exercise regimen can reduce or even completely eliminate carpal tunnel symptoms. The more advanced the condition is, the less likely it will respond to exercises alone.

You can read more about carpal tunnel exercises in my article.

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Carpal tunnel and massages

Hello,

can massage help with carpal tunnel syndrome?

Hello,

massages are generally pleasant, and reduce stress as well as muscle tension; lymphatic drainage massages even reduce swelling. For all these reasons, massage can certainly be helpful in preventing carpal tunnel syndrome. Assuming the primary cause of the syndrome is eliminated, massage combined with rehabilitation can also help treat its early-stage forms.

You can read more about carpal tunnel syndrome in my detailed article.

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